This past year has been a momentous one for the co-op. The move to the new premises in Eastway has been transformative in every way. We now have a bigger shop, a better selection of produce, and we are well on our way to creating a community wellness hub – a place where you can do so much more than shop! There are now all kinds of classes happening regularly at your co-op, from yoga and pilates to mindfulness and meditation. We hope to expand this offering greatly in the new year and encourage you to spread the word about what’s on offer and also about the spaces available for teachers, trainers and therapists.
We have expanded our personnel too, and are very proud to now have seven employees as well as all the new volunteers who have joined us recently. Their hard work, energy and commitment have been crucial in the last few months as the co-op expanded so swiftly.
We have been taking part in the Food Academy programme and just before Christmas we were delighted to make it through to the next stage. You may be seeing our first product, “Jenny’s Crack’d Cracker” on the shelves over the next few months. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Jenny for her extraordinary commitment to this project, and also to thank Melanie, Brian and Anne for their work on this – it was a big ask but thankfully we have a great team who pulled out all the stops.
We ran our “TUC Talks” series again in November, which was very well received and we will be running more talks in the New Year. Again, we owe a huge thank you to all our speakers who gave their time freely to help the Co-op. Thank you Ivor, Brendan, Eva, Olivia, Jim, Eleanor and Mimi. We are deeply appreciative!
You may have seen on social media that we have been shortlisted as a finalist in the LAMA All Ireland Community and Council Awards. These awards highlight and recognise communities and councils working together, bringing national recognition to projects and developments that may otherwise go unrecognised. We have been nominated in the “Best Business Working with the Community” category. The awards are in February and we will keep you posted!
While celebrating our success, I would also like to acknowledge that there has been a lot of sadness this year too. We have had many bereavements this year, including six parents of Board members, past and present. And just this week we lost a long-time canine companion, a favourite friend of many of us. Our sincere sympathies and condolences to all members who have lost someone dear to them this year.
But we look forward to 2019 with hope, for the continued growth of the co-op and for the possibilities that every new year brings.
I thank everyone who has helped us get to this position – thanks to the huge team of members, volunteers, friends and family who helped with the big move in August. It was a massive team effort!
Thanks to our friends in Dublin Food Co-op for giving us two van-loads of furniture and we wish them well in their new premises.
Thanks to Keeper Media for their lovely video of our Official Opening event.
Thanks to Katie and John for their time on the Board last year, and welcome and thanks to Sarah and John for stepping up to the Board this year.
Thanks to our hard-working staff, volunteers and Board members – they do SO much!
Thanks to everyone who has shopped, attended a class, lent a hand, donated furniture or equipment, volunteered their time or in any way contributed to this vibrant co-op community we are lucky to be part of!
Happy New Year to you all.
Board of Directors
The Urban Co-op